Ever since the birth of our cities, we’ve made sure to protect the green spaces within them. Civilizations as far back as the Romans built expansive parks in the heart of the city with ‘Rus in Urbe’ – translating as ‘Country in the City’ – still referenced today. In order to control the urbanization boom of the mid-20th century, meanwhile, greenbelt policies across many European cities literally ring-fenced the natural environments surrounding them, making air quality and easier access to nature a part of city life.
The post-pandemic city, however, is a new breed of conurbation, and these city parks and greenbelts are no longer enough. As we migrate away in search of greener, healthier climes, the cities we’re leaving are evolving, proving they can be green too by exchanging lesser-used black surfaces of roads and structures for natural grass- and parkland. These four projects from across Europe transform unused city spaces back into the natural and regenerative green environments they once were.